Creatures of Habit

Pam Farrel |

Author Madeleine L’Engle says, “Sometimes idiosyncrasies which used to be irritating become endearing, part of the complexity of a partner who has become woven deep into our own selves.”

In 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband: , I help wives keep that lovin’ feeling toward their husbands—even with their unique quirks might be bugging you a bit!

How about your honey? Which of his idiosyncrasies drive you nuts?

One of my friends had a husband who loved fixing up old cars, so car parts packed their garage and yard. It was his only vice. He was a great community leader, father, church leader, and husband—all good—except those crazy car parts! So, she decided a good man with unwelcome car part collectibles was better than no man or a bad man. Good choice. She dug in and learned about antique cars, how to find deals on car parts, went on dates with him to car shows—and you know what? Eventually those parts became a real car, one they go on fun dates in!

Wow Assignment

Now it is your turn. Make a list of some of the small irritations, annoying habits, and idiosyncrasies of your man. Then next to each irritation, write out the upside or why you can choose to love that part of who he is. Here are a few examples:

It drives me crazy when … He runs late all the time. (The upside, he is a great listener and values people, so those relationships can take time.)

He spends money on tools. (The upside, he is very handy, a real Mr. Fix It!)

He is such a sports fanatic. (The upside, he has a competitive spirit that helps him achieve more in many areas of his life.)

Wow Wisdom

Turn that irritation inside out. The Bible puts it this way: “Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other” (Colossians 3:13 AMPC).

Forbearance is to endure, have patience, and persist with your mate. To pardon is to forgive AND show kindness. It is a picture of freely granting grace, not because of something he does or does not do, but because of who God is in your life. As God gives grace, be God’s funnel that extends heaven-sent grace to your man.

Wow Date

Make a big deal out of one of the small irritations you have with your mate. Turn the negative into a positive. My husband loves coffee and used to have an annoying habit of leaving used coffee mugs in any room he traveled. I would find coffee mugs in the bathroom, bedroom, office, the garage in every vehicle, and on fence posts! I decided to pray for Bill anytime I found a dirty mug and those prayers turn irritation into fond affection. I was reminded that one of the reasons Bill loves his coffee is because he is a diligent worker—and that is a trait to be rewarded! So, for his 50th birthday, our family took Bill to a coffee farm in Hawaii, and he created his own “Bill Farrel blend”!

Study your man’s idiosyncrasies and annoying habits and see if any can be redeemed and turned into a gift to warm his heart and brighten his day:

• If he is a sports superfan, buy a jersey of his favorite team and use it for your pj’s. Or buy two tickets to his favorite sporting event and add a night’s stay in a hotel after.

• If he is a fishing nut, grab a rod and reel and take him to a little cabin in the backwoods.

• If he is a car enthusiast, rent a sports car and head down a scenic highway. Double bonus if you visit a car show enroute.

• If he is a computer geek, camp out in line with him at midnight for that next new tech gadget or plan a trip to a technology conference, fair or expo.

Turn that annoying habit of his into an affectionate hug for him!

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from ‘Leading Hearts Winter 2023 Issue’THE BIG Q with Cynthia L. Simmons

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